Center-right Bosnian party hails win in local elections

Physical confrontation forces cancelation of election in Stolac, officials say

Center-right Bosnian party hails win in local elections

World Bulletin / News Desk

A coalition of the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) and the Alliance for a Better Future of Bosnia (SBB) won the seventh local elections in Bosnia with 34 mayoral offices, the election commission announced Sunday.

Meanwhile, Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia (HDZ BiH) won 18 mayoral offices while the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won eight, according to unofficial preliminary results.

"Total number of 1,723,140 or 53.88 percent of the 3,263,906 votes cast during the local elections," Central Election Commission head Ahmet Santic said.

Voting was canceled in the southern city of Stolac because of a confrontation between the mayoral candidate and members of the election commission, Santic said at a news conference earlier.

"At around noon, the candidate came to the polling station where he physically attacked the chief of the commission and two people. Two members of the commission were taken to the emergency room after the attack," he said.

Meanwhile, elections could not be held in the “most divided” city of Mostar.

Because of a statute issued in the city, local elections were not held in there in 2012 as they were 2008. Leaders of both sides failed to reach an agreement in Bosnia's House of Representatives, eventually paving the way for the Constitutional Court to declare that the city’s electoral statute was unconstitutional. As a result, the municipality has been without a city council since 2012 – a situation that has created severe management issues.

Mostar has been administratively divided into six municipalities equally between Bosnians and Croats since the Bosnian War in 1995.

In 2004, former High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina Paddy Ashdown initiated an effort to bridge differences between the two sides in the city by issuing a new statute aimed at establishing a single municipality in Mostar.

But regulations could not be confirmed and be put into place due to opposition by Croats who feared Bosnians would get equal or even more rights in parts of the city where Croats enjoyed a majority.

Meanwhile, according to preliminary results, the candidate of the Serbian parties in Srebrenica, where more than 8,000 Muslims were killed in a genocide, Mladen Grujicic is leading the race to become the new mayor.

More 3.2 million voters were eligible to cast ballots in the contests Sunday to choose 131 new mayors.

Around 30,500 candidates from 102 political parties, 103 coalitions -- plus 171 independents -- took part to rule 74 municipal councils in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina while 57 municipal assemblies in Republika Srpska have been contested.

Nearly 7,000 observers were on duty during the voting, according to Bosnia's Central Election Commission. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ekim 2016, 08:55
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